From The Economist print edition
Japan has taught the world a great deal about coping with the financial crisis. Now the West is on its own
“NEW Year rally expected on Tokyo market next week.” That was a typically boosterish Japanese newswire headline on December 29th 1989, the day that one of the world’s biggest ever asset-price bubbles reached bursting point. Exactly 20 years later the Japanese are still paying the price for such hubris (see article). The Nikkei 225 index, which peaked at 38,916, now languishes at just over one-quarter of that level (though once again there is talk of a New Year rally). Japan’s economy has barely grown in nominal terms after two “lost decades”, and is again suffering from deflation. Where Japan was once bearing down on America, it now feels the hot breath of China on its neck. Remember “Japan as Number One”? These days the country’s chief claim to fame is having a gross government debt burden approaching 200% of GDP. Read the whole story here...